(This entry was written on November 25, 2013 but was not public until now because of promotional protocol.)
There is nothing small on me: I am a tall curvy broad with a big heart and an even bigger mouth. Luckily, the internet will have a chance to see it all, along with 9 other fabulous ladies of all ages and backgrounds, in an online commercial for SmartOnes® frozen meals released in January 2014.
It seems signing up to receive coupons via e-mail for SmartOnes® led me to this pretty awesome opportunity. As practical as I try to be in day to day life, I do believe things happen for a reason and this opportunity was meant to cross my path. I got this e-mail from Weight Watchers SmartOnes® in November that stated:
We’re reaching out to a small group of loyal Smart Ones® fans to ask for your help with a fun project. We’re shooting a video in your local area to announce an exciting new Smart Ones® initiative and we’d like you to be a part of it! You’ll have the opportunity to share your thoughts about Smart Ones® and connect with other fans.
If you’re interested in joining us, just email firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll send you more details.
Thanks in advance and hope you can make it!
Weight Watchers® Smart Ones® Brand Team
I have never been a member of Weight Watchers though I have adopted some of their philosophy and I think it’s a great program. But I do sign up for multiple coupon deals online and this was a message I almost deleted until I actually read it and thought, why not find out more information? (Props to their branding company for capturing my attention and not getting me to delete an e-mail that didn’t have coupons in it.)
After contacting the company I learned that they are looking for fans to share their thoughts about food, SmartOnes® in particular, as well as their food triggers/struggles on camera for possible use for a SmartOnes® online promotion. Basically, everything I talk and fight with on a daily basis on and off this blog! I had a phone interview with the lovely Shannon who helped cast this commercial and is a Senior Account Executive for Digital Marketing at Ferrara & Company. Yes, this commercial will be featured on the SmartOnes® website only, although I feel more people are forced to watch online ads since they can fast forward through them on TV so it may actually be seen more often!
On the phone, Shannon told me more about the new SmartOnes® promotion and I told her probably TOO much about myself, including sending her the link to a certain Happy & Healthy Kate blog post that seemed quite fitting for this subject. We talked about my background, my constant battle with food, struggles with portion control, my weight loss, my weight gain, then weight loss again! I felt very confident I would not have to lie in this commercial because my freezer is actually always stocked with SmartOnes® for two reasons: 1. They have a variety of vegetarian options that are damn delicious! 2. They almost always have coupons. After a nice conversation she said I’d be perfect and she’d be in touch with more details on times and location.
They were not kidding that this was being filmed in “my area”. It was filmed at Studio Park in Hamilton, located 4 miles from my house in Ewing, NJ. In addition to being a part of this project, I discovered an industrial studio & open art space right in my own back yard. I love that! It was a pretty great experience from beginning to end. The video shoot was on 11/23 from 9am-1pm, though I was done on camera around noon and hung out to eat and cause a ruckus. The day including a legit makeup artist who kept coming to my rescue with paper towels when I was “glowing” a bit too much on camera, a delicious breakfast and lunch (yay craft services!), and an American Express gift card given to each participant for our time. It also came with hours of smiles and laughter. I honestly would have done it for free. Don’t tell them that though.
The commercial is part of their new “wipe the slate clean” initiative. SmartOnes® wants to focus on how we are all human (love that), that we may not always make the best food choices as we give in excess to our temptations, but not to let the guilt cause us to quit any future attempt to eat better. We of course talked about how SmartOnes® can help get you back on this healthy track and how you always have the next meal to choose a healthier choice. It’s very in tune with my own philosophy that tomorrow is a new day and a small or even large detour should not cause you to stop, but it may just take longer to get to your destination. SmartOnes® actually does help me get back on track if I stray from my healthy eating habits, all the while saving money and reminding me what a healthy portion control looks like. Portion size is always an issue for me, my eyes are always bigger than my stomach.
I’m a huge supporter of those who cook fresh and organic cuisine and make the time and effort to lead such a healthy and natural life. I would love to have that drive in me, but for me a delicious low calorie frozen meal is my go to when I don’t have time or the inspiration to make my own fresh food. Maybe one day that will change when I have a family of my own or just decide I need to start eating more organically. Fresh food always tastes better, but let me tell you, these meals are great to grab on the go for a penny pinching vegetarian like myself.
They filmed us in groups and individually. I’ve worked in production and post-production from 2000-2005 and doing this commercial made me miss the entertainment game. Although, it was strange to be on the other side of things instead of behind the scenes. I never liked being in front of the camera and for the most part I like having control over what images get released of my face and body. I decided that during this “35th Year of Katy” I’m following opportunities that may lead me out of my comfort zone. Part of that journey includes accepting my physical self and inspiring others to do the same, as well as spread the word that they are not alone in their struggles with self esteem and discipline. I think participating in this SmartOnes® initiative aided in all of those goals!
Here are some fun facts I learned during my debut on camera:
1. Apparently there is a gel for eyebrows. After complimenting me on my eyebrows the makeup artist brushed gel on them to keep them neat. I am pretty sure I’m going to do this daily now since I have a crazy Scorsese cowlick on my right brow.
2. People truly do think I’m still in my 20s and it’s awesome. A couple of team members seemed surprised when I told them I was 35. I respond as I always do: It’s because I don’t have kids to age me.
3. I am not the only one who sweats when they are nervous. It was ironically refreshing to talk to my “co-stars” about how much they were sweating in their pits.
4. I suck at being fed lines to repeat, but I can ramble on forever about my own thoughts. I also find I can write my thoughts much more clearer than speak them. This is officially evident on tape. They pretty much had to tell me to shorten my answers every time and I had to yell cut and redo my lines multiple times.
5. Stepping out of your comfort zone can get you a new friend. I met my future co-star of our spin off, The Jenna & Katy Show, when she walked in an hour late traveling from the Bronx to be a part of this opportunity. I knew I’d love her when I said her name reminded me of a porn star, and she said that’s how she tells people to remember it. We had instant chemistry that the producers picked up on and filmed us just being awesome together in our own little corner until we got yelled at for being too loud while they interviewed the rest of the participants.
6. It has been officially confirmed by professionals that I have a big personality. Who knew my weirdness was something that they wanted to capture on tape?! I just hope I wasn’t too awkward on camera and some genuine entertaining Katy moments can be salvaged. It’s nerve wracking to be “yourself” with 4 cameras on you at once while being told to say the same thing 4-5 times, I have mad respect for my actor friends. I’m assuming my future career as a talk show host may take some getting used to. I did request cue cards and threaten to walk off the shoot when they didn’t have my favorite SmartOnes meal for me to endorse (omg, delicious Sesame Noodles with Vegetables). I naturally needed to practice hissy fits for my future fame!
7. SmartOnes® and the Ferrara & Company Marketing associates & their hired crew are wonderful to work with. They are warm and welcoming and made me feel much more at ease on camera than I thought I would be. Shannon recruited the ladies and she was extremely helpful, informative, and fun. Suzanne interviewed us all and she was encouraging and reassuring. The crew was friendly, approachable, and helpful as well. Working with these great people made the experience that much more enjoyable!
All in all this was a hilarious and unusual experience for me and regardless of how I think I look on camera, I’m going to share the final commercial with everyone I know. I believe the message of moving past your guilt of overreating to start fresh is inspirational and I’m excited that I got to be a part of it.
Thus begins my 5 seconds of fame.
*drumroll please* – The video from EatYourBest.com Clean Slate Project featuring my and Jenna’s adorable face and where you will come to learn about my peanut butter addiction!